By Staff Writer Tamendy Raymond.
Entering Women’s History Month with the daring group of feminist activist artists. Over fifty-five people have been members over the years, and their anonymity keeps the focus on the issues at hand. They wear guerrilla masks in public and use facts, humor, and extreme visuals to expose gender and ethic biases as well as corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture.
The Guerrilla girls create a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the overlooked and the unfair discriminations against women. They are a group of intersectional feminists that fight discrimination and support human rights for all people and genders.
The Guerrilla Girls have done over one hundred street projects, posters and stickers all over the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Bilbao, and Shanghai just to name a few.
They do projects and exhibitions at museums, attacking them for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices.
Important art pieces by the Guerilla Girls, include a 1986 poster sent to a well-known art collector. The art piece points out how very few of the art collector’s work are by women artists. The poster addressed the recipient as “Dear Collector,” and resembled a hand-written letter on powder-pink paper. The lettering was written in cursive script crowned with a frowning flower, exemplifying the femininity and sarcasm for which the Guerrilla Girls are known for.
The poster signed “We know that you feel terrible about this,” which appeals to the feelings of the recipient. Even when presenting a serious complaint, femininity is aimed with the expectation that women should do so in a socially acceptable ‘nice’ way.
The group later transcribed it into other languages and sent it to collectors outside the United States. A practical joke with serious implications. Ironically, the poster is now a collector’s item.
Another piece that caught media attention was the 2012, Even Michele Bachmann Believes “We All Have the Same Civil Rights.” They were able to show their work in an array of meaningful public spaces and reach global recognition.
The billboard displayed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, advocated for the same sex marriage featuring one of its faithful opponents, a conservative politician Michele Bachmann. Her advocacy for the constitutional ban on gay marriage was one the central tenets of her campaign for presidency in 2012.
Her statement “We all have the same civil right” was taken out of context and printed in hot pink. The human rights symbol was placed over Bachmann’s lips and the text “NO” next to it highlights the hypocrisy of her position. The use of this color alludes to the Nazi use of pink, parallels under the Nazi regime, people who identified as homosexuals were forced to wear a pink triangle.
Tuesday March 5 at 5 p.m. in Library Grand Reading Room, UMassD presented author Donna Kaz, aka Guerrilla Girl Aphra Behn. Kaz discussed the nine steps to making a difference with activism and art, “because the world has gone bananas.”